CAPE TOWN - Health experts have cautioned South Africans that it is too early to panic over the new COVID-19 Omicron subvariant, dubbed "Kraken".

Virus rendering. Picture: Pixabay.

Tamika Gounden | 10 January 2023 07:55

p>Health Minister Joe Phaahla was expected to provide an update on Tuesday on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

"The ministry will use this opportunity to respond to a number of topical issues, including the discovery of a new variant called XBB.1.5, which has dominated the media space and also created public panic in the past few days," said health department spokesperson Foster Mohale.

So far, the so-called Kraken variant - not it's scientific name - has been confirmed in 28 countries.

The World Health Organization said it was the most transmissible subvariant to date.

But local professor Tulio de Oliveria, from the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and sequencing platform - or Krisp - is of the view that the new variant will not cause much of a disruption to South Africa.

He said we had achieved a high population immunity.

News date: 2023-01-10


KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).

Location: K-RITH Tower Building
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
719 Umbilo Road, Durban, South Africa.
Director: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira